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COMMENTARY: The hypocrisy of the United States and the beating of war drums

The politicians of the United States of America are such an arrogant group of people. To believe that we have the right to go and kill people for using chemical weapons is just so stupid, and to try and convince us that it’s a mission of mercy – well, that’s even more stupid.

I mean we Americans can be naïve, but all one has to do is look at history to understand that we have no right -– no right what-so-ever -- to be standing on the bully pulpit of injustice.

If this were the case with every country in the world who got hit with chemical, nuclear or any other weapons of mass destruction – then by now the United States of America would no longer exist –- we’d be gone.

Let’s refresh our memories of just how kind and compassionate we Americans really are, shall we? I’m just going to lay out some facts, and you can spin them however you feel is necessary.

First, let us not forget that the United States is the only country to have ever used a nuclear weapon in combat. Not once – but twice. Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Hiroshima prefecture health department states the following:

“Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day. The Hiroshima prefectural health department estimates that, of the people who died on the day of the explosion, 60% died from flash or flame burns, 30% from falling debris and 10% from other causes. During the following months, large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness. In a US estimate of the total immediate and short term cause of death, 15–20% died from radiation sickness, 20–30% from flash burns, and 50–60% from other injuries, compounded by illness. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians.

The Japanese most certainly have reasons to come and bomb us – but they do not.

Remember Agent Orange and Operation Ranch Hand? Between January 1965 and April 1970, the U.S. military deployed 11 million to 13 million gallons of “herbicides” over 4.5 million acres in Vietnam. According the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Agent Orange contained “minute traces” of 2,3,7,8-tetracholrodibenzo-p-dioxin, more commonly known as dioxin. Studies done on laboratory animals, dioxin has been shown to be highly toxic even in minute doses; human exposure to the chemical could be associated with serious health issues such as muscular dysfunction, inflammation, birth defects, nervous system disorders and even the development of various cancers.

Allegedly the whole point of Agent Orange was aimed at the destruction of the forest and jungle cover used by the North Vietnamese troops. U.S. aircraft sprayed this mixture around roads, rivers and military bases. They also hit the non-combatant South Vietnamese peasants and ruined their crops and water sources.

The environmental damage to this nation was massive and they (the nation of Vietnam) have reported that some 400,000 people were killed or maimed as a result of exposure to Agent Orange. Vietnam also claims that more than 500,000 children have been born with serious birth defects, and as many as 2 million people are suffering from cancer or other illness caused by Agent Orange.

According to a report on the History Channel: “In 2004, a group of Vietnamese citizens filed a class-action lawsuit against more than 30 chemical companies, including the same ones that settled with the U.S. veterans in 1984.” (Yes, we injured our own men, but we at least gave them something for their pain and suffering.) “The suit, which sought billions of dollars in damages, claimed that Agent Orange and its poisonous effects left a legacy of health problems and that its use constituted a violation of international law. In March 2005, a federal judge in Brooklyn, N.Y. dismissed the suit, another U.S. court rejected a final appeal in 2008.”

Basically, the U.S. screwed these people twice – but they have never once lobbied to have other countries join them in bombing us.

And now we have Syria in the Middle East. Syria who has done nothing to the United States of America, and yet our President says we must go bomb them for use of chemical weapons to kill men women and children -– with lots of emphasis on the children.

As with most things political, most certainly there are things the government believes that its citizens don’t have the right to know. They believe we are too stupid, too naïve in the ways of the world; and too –- for lack or another word -– ordinary. You must be special to know and understand all the ways there are to kill men, women and children -– especially the children -- of every race, gender and creed.

I don’t want to be angry and I don’t want to spend my time writing about how evil the world is, and how I don’t trust my own government to do the just and humane thing; but right now, in this moment this is exactly how I feel.

Disappointment often leads to anger … and so it goes.

SDGLN Contributor Barb Hamp Weicksel was born in 1952 in Pennsylvania and moved to California in the early 1980s, where she met her partner Susan. They've been together some 30 years and share the love of Susan's four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her blog, Barb's Gift of Gab, can be found HERE.